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The Zero Years, 2005

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The Zero Years

Four women, who have been sterilized and are under constant toxic restraint and surveillance, are serving their term in a government-run brothel. Their duty is to have sex and beat their customers without remorse. The relations between them are at a critical point; food and water are scarce, their house is rotting and ready to collapse. Nothing on the outside exists any more. Nightmarish visions, simulated miscarriages and rapes, injections and nausea all make up their daily routine.One day, one of their customers disappears. The interrogation begins...
20052 h 03 min

What was supposed to be a true hand-to-heart scornfully dejected account of four government handled Greek prostitutes comes across as a vain, indolent, high brow artsy soft-core porno by the neo-noir transcending, experimental artist Nikos Nikolaidis.

Overflowing with Nikolaidis’s trademarks like the mental and sexual disorder in this situation, the symbolism in the film is placed with lesser judgment using nudity, desolate set-design and audacity to appease the peer-auteurs, perhaps.

The film says this is some sort of ritual punishment. I think it’s just a perfectly fine egg being wasted, or perhaps not.

Blending film-noir, where most characters are people who like to remain hidden behind shadows, walls, inside rooms and plain old existentialism, Nikolaidis seems to be working towards something that does not transpire, even marginally, even for all those hard-hitting and brilliant albeit unusual parables he is known to have carried the burden of. But not in The Zero Years, where unconventional themes are run down in plain sight.

The actors’ isolation is not effective enough, the anti-sex message is lost somewhere in between raw eggs being smashed on bare breasts, a leaking roof and superimposed imagery.


No love lost.

I cannot imagine comparing this film with Salo or The 120 Days of Sodom, (1975) like how most are convinced.